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There’s been some talk of bringing back the .45 in US military circles for years – basically since the Beretta M9 was adopted.  Well, for the US Marine special operators, that talk has been pretty much put to bed – at least for the time being.  The Marine Times reports that Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command has officially dumped the .45 and chosen the 9mm GLOCK 19 as the issue gun for their men.  Previously, the men could carry one of three approved sidearms, one being the Colt 1911, but not anymore.

Why?  It has to do with money, and that the men can carry it both concealed off-duty as well as into battle in a full battle rattle.

From the Marine Corps Times:

Marines opt for the 9 mil over 45s for special operators

For Marine special operators, the never-ending debate over whether the 9mm or .45-caliber round is the more powerful bullet has been settled.
Previously, the classic .45-caliber Colt 1911 was one of three pistols that Raiders were allowed to carry, but now the 9mm Glock 19 is the only pistol that Marine special operators can take into battle, said Maj. Nick Mannweiler, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
“We put our money behind the 9mm round fired by an extremely well-trained marksman carrying a Glock 19,” Mannweiler told Marine Corps Times.

There’s all the usual blather about the GLOCK 19 satisfying the Marine operators’ needs and so forth.

Interestingly enough, the same story says the FBI is bailing out of the .40 S&W and returning to the 9mm Parabellum in its duty guns.

The arguments boil down to this: The .45-caliber round is the bigger bullet, so it has the “knock down power” to neutralize any adversary with one shot; while pistols that fire 9mm rounds are generally more accurate and can carry more bullets. Where a bullet hits the human body is also a major factor on whether it inflicts a mortal wound.

Even though the .45-caliber cartridge has more propellant, the 9mm round usually has more penetrating power because the smaller round faces less air resistance on its nose as it files through the air, said Neil Clapperton, a firearms and forensic expert with the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory.

The .45-caliber round is also more expensive than its 9mm counterpart, Clapperton said. For all of these reasons, the FBI is moving from Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistols back to 9mm handguns, he said.

What do you think about the Marines and the FBI returning to the 9mm?

I’m a 9mm guy myself, as I find carrying a high-cap .45 Auto – specifically my XD45 – weighs on me after 10 hours or more, especially with a pair of extra magazines.  My GLOCK 19 is perfect for me with the extra ammo in a comfy holster.  Others, like a good friend and former special ops warrior himself, likes to remind me that my 9mm may or may not expand to .45 caliber or more, but his .45 will never shrink.

Share your thoughts in comments!

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    • You can carry your boat anchor. I’ll carry an extra magazine for my rifle along with 100% more ammo for my sidearm.

        • If your carrying capacity is unlimited, why don’t you take another extra rifle mag?

          And if it is – and realistically it is limited for everyone – then you have to pick and choose as to what to fit in there. No matter how large your capacity is, it’s still a choice. And in this case, the choice is between handgun and ammo for it, and more ammo for your primary weapon.

      • I carried a 222 pack all over Asia, Europe and the Middle East for that matter with no problems for 10 years. That included three extras for my 45 and six extras for my 16, a banaler of bloopers, food & water for 6 days, radio batteries and the works, as did my guys. AND LOVED IT! So what’s the rub bub, Sgt – RECON – Semper Fi

        • As an aging American who served in South East Asia, I thank you for your sacrifice. Because of guys like you who serve as a career old folks like me can still rail against the darkness from the safety of our own homes.

        • Agreed- the reason Glock is getting these contracts is they are throwing their guns out for dirt prices and then claiming that they were chosen for their function. MY personal favorite 9mm is the Sig, and particularly the M11 P229 modification. For balance, pointability, ruggedness, and accuracy, this is the benchmark pistol. 15-18 rds on board, depending on the mag used doesn’t hurt either…

        • Well, I live in NH and I am certified as an armorer for the Sig P320. Of course, I own one as well. I also own four Glocks including 17, 23, 26 and 30S. I will take the Glock ANY DAY over the Sig. Why? Because the Glock has fewer parts, it is easy to disassemble, it is easy to replace parts, it is easy to reassemble. In addition, they shoot great and, for me, are very accurate. You think you know about Sigs? Try taking about the sear block and reassemble it without losing one of the four sear block springs. Yes, the fire control unit is a wonderful idea, but an X-change kit is close to $400.

        • Good reply Ray…..except the CZ is as cheap or cheaper than the Glocks…..all steel and one hell of a deal…..if we were going to 9mm….that would be an excellent choice. Most people don’t agree until they have shot one.

        • The CZ85 (ambi version of the 75) would be an excellent choice for a 9. They point like a 1911 and are extremely accurate. The only centerfire pistol I have that is equal in accuracy is a Kimber Ultra CDP 45.

    • Tell you what: you walk up to the next MARSOC guy you meet and tell him all about his mangina, face to face. Afterwards, let us know how that goes.

      • A 10 may have more power, but it is an inferior choice for widespread issue. The guns are too large for most users. They kick. They have heavy ammo. What is needed is a gun that fits MOST shooters, is manageable by MOST shooters, doesn’t weigh so much and isn’t so bulky. They wanted a more compact and lighter gun for both exposed and concealed carry. All the 10mm handguns are built upon .45-sized frames and that in itself is a problem.

    • Well been around the world a few times and never got much from my rifle to a sidearm at any time in multiple scenarios. Carried a 1911 and sometimes a Beretta…..shot a few Glocks too. Know what the old 45 will do….maybe they should stay with the round but go to a Glock 21….. then they get the best of both worlds without the weight.

    • 27 years army and navy duty. I’ve shot and qualified with the .38, the .45 and M9 I’ve shot IPSC with the .45, G17 and G22. In all honesty, my personal choice would be the G17 due to the ammo load: a full deck if you put one in the pipe, rapid return of the muzzle to ready and down right accuracy. I shot faster and more accurately on IPSC matched with the 9mm vs. the .40 or .45. I’d personally love to carry a G17 or G19 if I were to go into harms way again.

      • the military does not train people properly to fire a 1911 .45. a 45 1911 frame shoots way easier than a plastic 9mm.
        I own 3 glocks… two 40 cals and a 9mm, a good old .45 colt, a Webley 38 S an W revolver, a Smith and Wesson 357 model 686 a 30 cal scorpion…. I would have to choose a high capacity 45 ”’ the do exist. or a 40 cal glock with a compensated barrel. the 40 cal Glock with a compensated barrel makes it shoot like a cream puff… years ago we shot a criminal 9 times with a 9mm… he is alive today walking the streets.. so as far as a 9mm goes I would rather have a .40 or .45 as one shot will stop the criminal from killing you. not only that the military issued 9mms are unreliable and crap….


  1. Meh, it’s a sidearm that a Raider will practically never use. Given that, it makes sense to save a pound or two of weight by not shlepping around a boat anchor.

    • And especially to find one gun that has sufficient capacity, reliability and function to serve as service gun, while simultaneously being compact enough to wear more discreetly when that’s what’s called for.

      Spend the micro-optimization-for-every-specialized-mission time, effort and budget on weapons systems that are more crucial. While just getting the G(oldi)lock 19 and be done with it. Makes sense to me, although specops Marines are likely to be amongst the few who can conceivably utilize the increased accuracy potential of a tuned 1911, over a more standard sidearm.

      • Yeah, but let’s not forget that the 1911 platform has some major drawbacks that make the slight increase in handgun accuracy largely moot. The grip safety and the weight come immediately to mind.

      • I like to say, for civvies or LEO:
        FMJ-only or 10 round mag limit? Use .45, specifically a GLOCK 30 (maybe a 26 if concealment is a concern)
        otherwise, high cap 9mm (17, 19, 26 w/ big reloads)

        The major caveat though is in a military application, you can only have FMJ, BUT in a military role, extra penetration is good… overpenetration DNE, so nato loaded hardball. plus its lighter which is what you want for a .mil sidearm (isnt a 19 like 60% the size and weight of a 92 for same # rounds?). Also simple, low maintenance, hard to break, major steps above the 92 or any 1911. 9mm is easy to control for fresh/small statured/non-combat focused grunts. Also, on the opposite end of the spectrum, for the creme de la creme special forces, they can kill people efficiently with any tool regardless of caliber.

  2. I doubt the one size fits all is a better policy for Special Ops guys. I imagine that they know what works best for them.

    • Nowadays, to almost all military personnel, a handgun is a handgun is a handgun. They need to do what handguns do when called for, and otherwise get out of the way of more important weaponry. The G19 does both as well as anything out there.

      • Exactly. If you’re a soldier and you need to pull your sidearm, something has gone seriously wrong. For folks who EDC a CCW, spending the time, effort, and money to optimize your carry setup makes sense, because that’s likely to be all you have on you if you need a gun. For a soldier though, who will almost always have a rifle and a large amount of extra ammo, I don’t think the caliber or type of sidearm really matters all that much.

        • Only in the Civilian world (both LEO and Averages Joe’s) does a pistol become a primary weapon system.

          Rule #1 of a gunfight: Bring a gun.
          Rule #2 of a gunfight: Bring a long-gun, and all of your friends with long-guns.

  3. It’s a good way to try to even up the total force on force capabilities of MARSOC, JSOC, with the enemy, and that’s all the CIC is working towards.

  4. The FBI conducted extensive tests and reviews of shootsthat showed the difference in lethality between 9mm, .40SW, and .45 ACP was around 1% or so. I believe that is why they moved back to 9mm. That 1% difference perhaps was less important than carrying more rounds.

    • I would be surprised if they really had enough data to determine this with a compelling degree of certainty.

      • Considering that the FBI is the agency that every reported crime in America gets reported to, I think they get enough data to make that claim per year. Stretch that period out to a decade or more and there’s no way they don’t have the data.

        • I doubt that they have stopwatch data for incapacition for more than a tiny fraction of shootings. I also imagine that there are a shitload of variables that compromise the volume of data. Obviously, I am just speculating. I haven’t seen what the data they are working from looks like.

        • “Lethality” is so imprecisely defined, that speaking of 1% differences in “it”, is just mindless mumbo jumbo. Used to justify a preconceived conclusion, at best.

          Bullet frontal diameter aside, the tapered 9mm case is probably about as Goldilocks as it gets for an auto pistol round. The taper allows for more reliable feeding of the smaller bullet into the wider chamber base than .45 and .40, while avoiding the nosedive possibility of bottlenecks like the .357Sig. The length to diameter, makes it more resistant to slight alignment differences between, say, manual fed initial and recoil fed subsequent rounds than a stubby like the .45 GAP. It doublestacks completely in guns slim enough for almost all people’s hands (P228 vs P229….). The high but not excessively so pressure, is simultaneously space efficient, and material and tolerance tolerant. And so on and so on. Georg Luger hit that one so far out of the ballpark, it has taken the world a century to finally come around to realize where the ball went.

          But for terminal ballistics outside of a cns hit, meaning reliance on blood loss, it’s really hard to argue against the fluid dynamic property that liquid flow though a pipe, especially flow of a somewhat viscous and coagulating liquid like blood, increases super linearly with pipe diameter. Something you see in practice when hunting, as increasing the size of the bullet hole by just a little bit, can take you from a wound that stops bleeding almost entirely in short order, to one that gives a clear and long lasting blood trail. I have a really hard time envisioning how the increase in wound channel from a 9 to a .40, all else being equal, is somehow immune to such a fundamental effect.

        • Never fall for the myth of competent government. Especially never assume that the stuff they chose to buy they did so because it was measurably better then anything else. Always always always, contracts go to the lowest bidder or the bidder that bought the most senators.

        • Stuki, you used a lot of multi-syllable words to make your point while ignoring a critical point in deaths caused by gunshot. Death due to blood loss is rare, and relatively slow. Injuries which result in death by blood loss, as opposed to cessation of operation of vital organs, seldom immobilizes the person wounded. In other words, a person who suffers a gunshot wound which will result in death solely due to blood loss is almost always mobile, and a threat until expiration.

          I have hunted all my life, and have never had to “track” an animal more than 25 or 30 yards, and even that one did not die by blood loss. I have, fortunately, only killed one human being. Death was due to blood loss from multiple abdominal wounds, and took about 25 minutes. The point in stating this is that, whether civilian, military, or LEO, reliance upon any weapon to save your butt by causing massive blood loss which results in death is pretty sketchy.

          The value of a weapon to cause death by blood loss is almost zero. The superior performance you give to handguns larger-than-9mm because they cause greater blood loss is a value with almost zero merit.

        • The FBI may have the “data” but they also had the experience before they switched to the .40 cal. Switching back is contrary to that experience and a mistake. As for the military and ahving toc arry only ball ammo, the .45 cal is certainly a superior caliber. Plus, Glock gives the soldier a fine weapon in .45 and he doesn’t have to carry a 1911 C&L.

        • FBI went to 9’s because several members of the FBI were to weak to handle the 40’s recoil and because they were cheaper to train with than 40’s.

        • How can you possibly verify that FBI agents were too weak? You personal knowledge? If so, then ID your source please,

        • “FBI went to 9’s because several members of the FBI were to weak to handle the 40’s recoil and because they were cheaper to train with than 40’s.”

          Now, we have reached the real focus of the argument…you have to be a REAL MAN to handle the .40/.45. That is about the most pussified comment I have read on here yet. Yeah, you gotta have a big johnson and big cojones to handle that nasty .40. What a crock of crap….you should be embarrassed by your stupidity…

      • This. Actual terminal ballistics and associated lethality is a very difficult field to study because you can’t test it. No one is lining up to be test subjects and be shot center mass with a 9mm vs. .45 in order to find out rate of incapacitation. Nor are animal studies really done anymore, and those that were done were not exactly rigorous in terms of scientific control.

        So all you get is a pile of anecdotes… and the plural of anecdote is not ’empirical’

    • That is with EXPANDING ammo. It is my understanding that the military generally isn’t allowed to used expanding ammo.

      Therefore, while I think 9mm+P is perfectly acceptable for CCW, home defense, and law enforcement, it isn’t that great for military use. For someone required to use ball ammo, the caliber should probably start with a 4. A Glock 30 or 27 would carry as easily as a Glock 19 (and hit harder with ball ammo).

      Handgun choice really depends on the situation. I generally just carry a snub nose .38 special, since I have a very low risk lifestyle. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want my J-frame if I were a soldier or a police officer.

      • Special Ops has been using expanding pistol bullets for a while now, no? It is my understanding that US did not ratify declaration IV,3 of the 1899 Hague convention.

        • I know the U.S. did not ratify it, but that we still generally abide by it. Perhaps the Special Forces folks aren’t required to do so. If that is the case, then the Glock 19 makes a lot of sense. The Glock 19 is a great all purpose handgun.

        • Even if they had it wouldn’t matter. The Hague Conventions only apply to conflicts between signatories. It ceases to apply once a non-signatory or non-state-actor enters the conflict.

    • 9mm lethality = 100%, .45ACP = 101%
      Glock 19 holds 15 rounds, 1911 holds 8.

      8 x 101 = 808
      15 x 100 = 1,500

      1500 / 808 = 1.856

      => The Glock 19 is 85% *more* gun than a 1911, damn near twice the gun.

      • Laughing so hard…
        So if .45 is 101% leathal does that mean it kills people without being fired? Or does that mean that for ever cast you get a 1D6 chance to hit all other targets within a ten foot range for 2D20 damage on top of damage dealt to targeted target?

      • That kind of logic will win you a bottle of Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink with an expiration date that passed 10 years before. And the veracity of your assertion is about on par with the taste of the “wine.”

    • BS. FBI or JV Spec Ops it’s all about getting the chicks in. Obumer says queers and gals to infest EVERYTHING so that means 9mm.

    • Look at some of these excuses. lol The military does not train individuals good enough? Blah, Blah Blah, take your big bore bias out of it for a few minutes and critical think. Look at the mission and think tactically. Heavier frame? Negative! Less rounds (even though you could go with a .45 Glock, but that is another story). Negative! The ammo is not as cheap and cannot be found everywhere like the 9mm. Negative for the 1911…Years of training and statistics have proven shot placement is where it is at… I see a better weapon for the mission. Sorry people, 1911 was and is a great gun, but it would not be my first choice for the job.

      and those who say it takes a real man to handle a .40 or .45, tell that to the special ops community you little turds.

      • I just flat out disagree with the wisdom of 9mm being universally available. For many years my expierence with pistols and the military was that if I had my mags filled and an extra box of day 50 rounds it was more than I would need and this is coming from a guy that still believes that there is never enough ammo. Pure and simple pistols are a backup for main issue weapons. My backup should be able to stop someone in their tracks.

        • Noel, I don’t know what you mean by “universally available” as it pertains to this issue.

          I do know what you mean by “stop someone in their tracks”, and you are going down the wrong rabbit hole with that one. Handguns are a terrible compromise as a reliable stopper. Whether shooting 9mm or .45, common factory loads (HP, non +P) barely push 400 lbs muzzle energy. Meanwhile, the .223, a round NOBODY considers sufficient to “stop someone in their tracks”, has more than 3 TIMES the muzzle energy of either of the handgun rounds indicated. Any handgun you can reasonably carry concealed, or use as a military/LEO piece, will rarely stop a person in their tracks.

          That is precisely the reason I have commented on many of the comments on this posting. When you come to grips with the reality of what a crappy defense weapon a handgun is, you should realize that you need to consider something besides stopping power in your choice of weapon. The ability to fire rapid and accurate follow-up shots, capacity to have enough ammo in the event you don’t deliver a CNS shot, weight and bulk considerations if you CCW, cost of practice ammo to ensure that you practice regularly, having a weapon that is comfortable to shoot so that you CAN be accurate, and will want to practice…all of these pertain in any attempt to kill an attacker who is likely within 7 feet, and has the desire to kill or seriously harm you, or someone else.

          I don’t give a rat’s behind whether you carry a 9mm/10mm/.40/.45, or a .22. There is no “one size is best for all” and there is ZERO merit to the argument, “if he only had a ___, instead of a ___, he would have stopped the perp with one shot.”

  5. It has to do with money, and that the men can carry it both concealed off-duty as well as into battle in a full battle rattle


    Huh? You can most certainly carry a 1911 concealed off-duty….

    • Not everyone can conceal a .45 easily and a single stack sub-compact .45 is a pretty low ammo count per mag.

      • Not everyone can conceal a Glock 19 easily, either. The mag capacity is an issue, but that’s not what I’m questioning.

        • G19s conceal much easier on most physiques than full size 1911s (and even than G17s). For most men thicker than a marathon runner, a G19 in a shoulder rig, don’t have a inch+ of barrel poking out their back. Nor does it take nearly as much planning, care and precision to prevent the barrel from printing and/or interfering with movement in a high and tight I/O WB holster. Not saying the 19 is a PPK, but just imagine trying to dress 007 around a full size 1911…..

          The Sig P239 (for those who want something a bit classier than a plastic gun) does conceal even easier than the G19, despite measuring not that much smaller. Enough so that it makes a difference in concealment for plain clothes officers. It’s a bit thinner and shorter just where it matters, and rounded just where the Block can cause a bit of corner printing. But I doubt those small nuances outweigh the reduction from 15 to 8 in the magazine for a fighting unit. Plus the doubling of as delivered to the Marines’ price. Or, realistically, a quadrupling, as the 239s limited capacity renders the matchup one of the G19 solo on the Glock side; vs a 226 or 229, plus a 239, for the Sig. Which, come to think of it, pretty much summarizes the genius that is the G(oldi)lock 19.

        • @stuki moi:

          And for most people who carry IWB, the length of the barrel is irrelevant, and the width of the slide/receiver is more important.

      • A pistol is not for sustained engagements, it is used to discourage the enemy from advancing on your position while you locate and retrieve the rifle you never should have set down to begin with.

        • This X 10,000.

          And really your rifle is just for fighting your way to the crew-served weapons if needed and available.

      • I am 5 foot 2, 145 lb. I have carried the same 1911 I bought 30 years ago since I retired from the service 21 years ago. Carry what you are competent and confident with.

  6. It’s a sidearm. Who cares? But since you asked, I carry the GLOCK 19. I prefer the capacity over the caliber. The GLOCK 19 carries twice as many rounds as the 1911 so you can put twice as many holes in the enemy. Two 9mm holes equal one .60 caliber hole. Think about that.

    • That is why I own 9mm now. I want to practice and carry one caliber in a pistol.
      The one argument for bigger calibers that makes some sense is for locales where you are limited to 10 or fewer rounds, so the advantage of more ammo isn’t realized.
      But I prefer to have a lighter smaller firearm with good lethality.

      • Firepower is the key here: Energy per round X Capacity.

        9MM LUGER 115GR +P = 511 Ft-Lbs X 15rnds = 7,665 FT-LBS of ouchy.

        45AUTO 185GR +P = 616 Ft-Lbs X 8rnds = 4,928 FT-LBS of ouchy.

        5.56×45 69GR = 1,379Ft-Lbs X 30rnds = 41,370 FT-LBS OF OUCHY

        • Your ballistic numbers are enthusiastic but not reflective of truth.
          The hottest 9mm ammo loaded is by Underwood and their +P+ 9mm 115gr clocked from a Sig P228 3.9″ barrel “only” hit 500 lb-ft of KE. The +P load is closer to 400 lb-ft.
          ZERO .45 ACP +P loads exist that exceed 600 fpe. Again, Underwood loads the hottest and around 580 fpe published with 185 gr. Loads with 230 gr will run around 450 fpe.
          NOTE: These are TOP loads all other brands will perform LESS!

          Once you start quoting +600 fpe for .45 you’re talking “SUPER” numbers and can no longer claim to be comparing on equal terms. Also, mil-spec “ball” ammo in 9mm actually measures around 330 lb-ft, with .45 ACP around 350 lb-ft. Factualy speaking, most OTC “performance” 9mm/.45ACP, regardless of hype and labelling, is little more poweful than ball ammo. Go to to view REAL numbers on many brands with gel tests…only for .380/9mm/.40/.45 at this time.

          Actually, “souped up” the same way, the .40 leaves the 9mm WAY in the dust….check out some vids on YouTube…

          The .45 GAP is probably THE best cartridge within these types because it will fit in a G-19 size gun! And it performs identically to the .45 ACP!

          If one wants a serious bump up the 10mm was, and still is the answer. Top loads (Underwood) exceed 800 fpe from 4.6″ Glock barrels, and even the milquetoast FMJ “range” loads run 550 fpe without even putting a strain on a 1911 pattern pistol, and a complete non-event from a G-20/29!

    • Actually, if you check out expansion on modern JHP, each of those 9mm holes should be reliably no less than a .60 hole.

        • Draw a 2 inch diameter circle. Then, inside it, draw 2 1 inch ones next to each other. Check to see if the two 1 inch ones, completely cover the 2 inch one……….

        • A 9mm hole has approx .4 sq in of area. A .45 has .64. What I don’t know is if, in general, blood flows faster through 2 9mm holes than one .45 hole even though they have a greater combined area:-)

        • Jon,

          The following bullets create the following surface area of holes:
          one 9 mm bullet hole is 0.09898 square inches
          .45 caliber bullet hole is 0.15904 square inches
          .50 caliber bullet hole is 0.1980 square inches
          two 9mm bullet holes are 0.1980 square inches


          Bullet dimensions are expressed in mm or caliber (inches) which is a measure of a bullet’s diameter.

          Area of a circle is pi x radius squared where pi = 3.14159…

          Area of the circle of a 9mm bullet:
          The radius of a 9mm bullet is 0.355 / 2 = 0.1775 inches
          area == pi x 0.1775 x 0.1775 = 0.09898 square inches
          Therefore, two such holes would have an area of 0.1980 square inches

          What caliber would be required to make a hole with an area of 0.1980 square inches? Working it backwards …
          0.1980 square inches = pi x radius x radius
          0.06303 square inches = radius x radius
          0.2510 inches = radius
          2 x radius = diameter
          Finally, 2 x 0.2510 inches = 0.5021 inches diameter… which is about .50 caliber.

          The result: two 9mm bullet holes produce the same amount of open area as one .50 caliber bullet hole.

          And how does that compare to a .45 caliber bullet hole?

          The radius of a .45 bullet is 0.45 / 2 = 0.225 inches
          So, pi x 0.225 x 0.225 = 0.15904 square inches

          Again, here is the final tally:
          one 9 mm bullet hole is 0.09898 square inches
          .45 caliber bullet hole is 0.15904 square inches
          .50 caliber bullet hole is 0.1980 square inches
          two 9mm bullet holes are 0.1980 square inches

        • Oops. Thanks uncommon_sense, I used the diameter rather than the radius for my calculations.

      • You’re correct. I actually didn’t do any math. Except, 16 on board is better than 8 or 9 in any ACP round. If I was limited by law to under 10, I would carry a 7 shot S&W 686 in .357 magnum because I can’t CC my Mossberg 930.

  7. Makes sense. Knock down power with a duty level handgun is a myth invented to sell gun magazines to the gullible.

    The marines have a military, not civilian requirement. If a marine is using a sidearm things have gone really badly. Being able to shoot 15 times before a reload is an advantage in those moments.

    • “If a marine is using a sidearm things have gone really badly. Being able to shoot 15 times before a reload is an advantage in those moments.”

      Good point. The G19 is a good combination of (1) light weight (2) fairly compact (3) reliable (4) shootable/accurate (5) reasonably powerful and (6) a good round count.

      I own a G19, and like it a lot. Still, it isn’t like it is the only option available to the MC. A G23 is pretty comparable. Same size and weight, a little better power, a little less shootable, and 2 rounds less ammo.

        • True, and it isn’t like the handgun is an important weapon for the Marine Corps anyway. They’ve got tanks, artillery, missiles, planes, machine guns, rifles, etc. etc. etc. The side arm is one of the least important components.

          Civilian CCW and law enforcement are very different categories. Handguns are important to us. For CCW, the handgun is all you generally have available. The same is largely true for the police. They have access to a long gun in their car, but the handgun is the weapon that is always on their person.

        • They used 45 before. NATO means the military in general uses 9mm but special ops often go with other options without needing to follow NATO standard

        • Right, sidearm is less important than nearly every other piece of gear. In bulk, and the fed orders are in massive bulk, even small ones, and Glock makes it worth their while. And the 1911 needs tuning and training above and beyond to be capable with it. Mechanically its just more complex, with little practical difference in the 1% chance its used.

          If they could wait out the service wide selection, which will have both duty sized and compact, then they could just pick whatever gets chosen, G19 is a good temp fix, SEALs already selected it. Same reason, not much difference in performance, capacity, compact, and cheap.

          Save the money and get better earpro/comms, those stupid reversible foam plugs suck, and the comms gear isn’t Hollywood cool, its like Road Warrior age. Although I see guys with fancy stuff occasionally, personal purchases, I guess. I’m damn near deaf now, and its not like an M2, IAR ,or M4 are getting quiet, even with a can on an M4. I’d bet, not my life at this point of course, that better hearing and comms saves more lives than all the sidearms in all the services. Of course, that’s another $5billion to figure out that you need to spend $300mil Future Warrior boondoggle

  8. Eh, I’m a 9 guy, carry the G19. Love .45 too, but I’d just rather have concealability and capacity. I’ve carried a 1911 before and it conceals well on me, but the cap sucks. There’s plenty of higher capacity .45’s out there but presently I have neither the money, nor the desire to get one.

    I never got onboard the .380 train, or .40 either. I do own a .40 but it’s a gun around the house. As for the Marines and FBI, it makes sense that they’re returning to 9mm.

  9. i think they are doing this for the same reason most PD’s switched to GLOCKs: cost. it is too expensive for them to all buy their own calibers so now they can get better deals by buying in bulk like this. Pay no attention to the article that came out today about the US gov spending 126 Million on non-NATO rounds for a country we haven’t been told yet, nor the caliber nor the amount purchased. yeah, nothing wrong with that even in the slightest.

  10. I’m not quite buying the argument that air resistance makes the .45 a slower round with less penetrating capability. The .45ACP is simply a lower pressure round than the 9mm Luger with lower velocities measured at the muzzle where air resistance has yet to have any effect.

    • And even at 25yds the loss in velocity as a fraction of muzzle velocity changes negligible between the two calibers.

      Light, fast and sleek penetrates…this is true. More so in rifle calibers, but appreciably so in light/fast 10mm loads against ballistic glass. There’s very little difference in penetration of most environmental barriers (walls, structures, dirt berms, trees, whatever) between 9mm and 45.

      Blah blah I agree with your point and think the quote in the article added little in terms of ballistic knowledge.

  11. The 10mm would have been a better solution. You’d have the best of both worlds. Power, capacity and true versatility.

    The 9mm is okay and the .45 is fine. When it comes to “getting the job done” the 10mm beats both hands down.

    Captain O, out.

  12. More furious policy scribbling for the armed forces that won’t amount of jack-squat.

    Tell me when the memo comes down that their mission has been re-redefined back to “killing people and breaking shit” and then we can argue which caliber/weapon/platform is better.

    Until then, it makes little difference whether they’re carrying 1911’s, G19’s or popsicle sticks. The armed forces are now so much more concerned with chanting “You go girl!” to the women they’re trying to shove through infantry training (and Ranger school on top of that), and funding sex change operations.

    Our tax dollars are so very hard at work…

    • “killing people and breaking shit”

      Newsflash: has not been that for a century. The mission has always been to be the foreign policy pawns of politicians, and with it all the bureaucratic BS that comes with being owned by the government.

      Also are people still shelling out $3k for crack-happy Colts with a rail and a rollmark?

      • Remember: You too can join the military and commit multiple federal offenses, and be rewarded with a cushy stay at a nice tax payer funded facility, where, above all things, you can get a 100% FREE sex change!!! For no money down!!! Where’s the money come from? Who cares? It’s free!!! Step up and join today!!! *note your experience may vary, botched sex change operations may leave you horrendously mutilitaed and vulnerable to rape. Please check with you physician before enlistment.

      • That just means the generals are beholden to political realities, therefore the entire military does the bidding of politicians. Deal with it.

  13. From the standpoint of its a secondary weapon, I don’t see the great advantage or disadvantage of either.

    From my own standpoint, I suspect we might see more mods available after the military uses the 19 for a while.

    Meanwhile, I will keep on with my Glock 21. I like bigger holes and heavy bullets and I shoot the 45 just fine (although I do sometimes carry a 17 “just cuz”).

  14. If they’re carrying JHPs, you can take your pick of US-made ammo, in either caliber, that all brings about the same amount of energy to the same desired depths in a bad guy. And usually, you can carry more 9mm than .45.

    If it’s ball, then you can take your pick of anecdotal evidence about how many times you have to shoot a charging Moro tribesman with whatever caliber.

    In either case, they seem to be talking about guys who are capable of a much higher degree of shot placement than Joe Sixpack who takes his carry piece to the range twice a year. I figure the G19 lets you place twice as many.

    • Those dang “charging Moro tribesman”! I had to fend off a whole horde of them just the other day. They just popped up out of nowhere, and ran straight me. They were doped up and everything. Glad I had my trusty .45 Colt.

  15. So the Corps adopts the new M45 1911 as a standard sidearm and then 2 years later decides that their special operators can only carry a 9mm Glock?

  16. I love exciting pistol caliber debates! Almost as exciting as 1911 vs Glock discussions. Amazing how much time people spend arguing over minutiae … swallowing the camel, so to speak.

    Like what you like; carry what you carry; let others do the same… better to spend your time and effort to be effective with what you chose than to argue about why you chose it! 😉

  17. A handgun is near the bottom of the spectrum of military weapons, just above edged weapons, blunt weapons, and “hand-to-hand”.

    Weight is more important than caliber, as long as the caliber is “good enough”.

    If a Soldier (or Marine) is engaging with his pistol, he’s probably in an unplanned situation.

  18. I think this virtually assures the inevitable news that the .mil / Army MHS is going to go with 9mm (and probably Glock, but everyone seems to really love the Sig P320).

    I read that the Army & Modular Handgun System testers basically eliminated .45ACP from contention immediately and really did “silently” eliminate it early on – and from there it was 9mm and .40 S&W . I also read some stuff that said there was a lot of serious push for the .40 S&W but even if it was a “better caliber choice” to them (AND I AM NOT TRYING TO SAY IT IS, JUST relating a comparison here) it wasn’t better enough to override the history w/ 9mm and everything else (more ammo in the mags, less weight, less wear and tear on the guns, less recoil/more perceived shootability, etc. etc. etc.)

    With the FBI officially going to Glock 9mms, Naval Special Warfare (read; SEALs) officially going to the Glock 19 in still 9mm (remember they have been fiercely loyal to their Sig P226s for 30 years now, strongly believing in the DA/SA trigger of the Sig and the Sig overall- plus they have the HK45CT in the pipelines right?) and now Marine Special Operations ditching their relatively-new, customized and contracted and highly-sought-and-liked Colt M45 .45ACPs — and not going to a say Glock in .45, but a Glock in 9mm — these folks would not be doing this if they were going to be switching to .40S&W or whatever else in a matter of months/year with the Modular Handgun System adoption- they know what’s up for that program, clearly.

    I’m surprised, I thought the Army would return to the .45 or perhaps adopt .40 as a ‘compromise’ but very surprised in seeing all these units going to Glock 9mm- I think it’s great, just surprised.

    • Metric shit tons of 9mm are in the storerooms and warehouses. Ammo is the real cost of the weapons. Makes no financial sense to adopt .40 or even to go back to .45.

  19. The pistol itself is a fine choice and trained people are fine with a 9mm. Makes sense from a logistics and maintenance cost perspective. However Special Operators should be allowed to carry the 1911 into battle if that’s what they are comfortable with and shoot well with. Big boy rules.

  20. ….Pistols in this particular discipline are a weapon used as a last resort….on your back prayin’ for help or used to get a long gun back that you lost in an explosion you survived or lost in a scuffle… the friggin’ math….as a former line Company Recon Marine in the early 80’s, these guys today carry a tremendous amount of equipment compared to us crude, ill equipped creepers, mission specific of course, and can not afford the extra weight of something they ‘might” need……..

  21. These things go in circles. I was on the SOCOM E-mail list during the first phase of OEF. The guys already over there sent back an E-mail telling the next deployment to bring a 45 because 9mm sucks.

  22. Always entertaining to read the comments and opinions from all the virtual small arms “experts” drawn to this site. Hard to imagine there are still so many “experts” out there who are so completely ignorant of and oblivious to the leaps forward in 9mn bullet construction and ballistic performance that have proven to be game changers in the duty/defensive ammunition market during the last last 4 or 5 years. All this bloviating about the knock down and one shot stopping power of 45 ACP is now just bull$#it online dumb@$$e$ like repeating to each other. Study up and wise up folks, modern 9mm ammo like Federal HST have made all that bull$#it we all used to believe about 9mm vs 45 ACP null & void.

    Good to know the USMC is spending our tax dollars so efficiently and wisely by putting a proven reliable pistol like the Glock 19 in the hands of Special Operators, and if you believe those Operators are using NATO issue ball ammo to combat terrorism, you’re mistaken.

      • Yep. But the 9mm rules in efficiency and carry weight. Logistics matter. I own .22, .380, 9mm, .357, .40, and .45 (and a bunch more – just talking about const pistol calibers). I usually carry 9mm. It’s not because I’m a wimp (300 plus pound bench press), it’s because 9mm works. And it’s easy to stockpile. So is .22, 5.56, .40, .308, etc.

        Anyways, I’ve shot and carried a lot and like 9mm JHP +P. It would cost less if I didn’t burn through it so fast.

      • El Mac for some reason you’re not able to grasp what’s been accomplished by improvements in this new generation of 9mm ammo.

        Manufacturers like Federal with their HST have achieved ballistic performance improvements in 9mm duty/defensive ammo to such a degree in consistent penetration and expansion that inflicts wound channels and soft tissue damage which rivals the consistency of higher velocity 357 Sig and 10mm, and heavier 40 S&W and 45 ACP loads.

        Long story short, since plenty potent 9mm ammo is now available, there’s no way to really justify carrying fewer rounds of a heavier and/or more expensive alternative caliber.

        • Will do El Mac, I was skeptical myself until I saw the FBI standard protocol ballistic gel test results, I might be past my prime but hopefully I’ll never get too old and hard headed to learn new things and acknowledge progress. Study up and smarten up El Mac, it’s never too late.

        • Brother Ted, I have sat through the FBI briefing on the 9 and their reason for switching. Been through the power points with the charts and everything. What they aren’t telling you is that it’s an apples to oranges comparison. When you compare like rounds to like rounds, the numbers still come out in favor of the larger calibers. It’s simple physics. Sure…you want to compare the “wonder round 9” to some downloaded junk, the wonder round comes out ahead. Compare it to modern day beefed up rounds, it comes in a distant second. But you go right ahead and believe the hype. It’s a free country, sorta.

        • El Mac, I suppose that when you resort to attending imagenary FBI briefings, everything could be an apples and oranges comparison or anything you choose to make up or want it to be, especially when you buy into the “a bigger hammer is always better” false narrative.

          But here in the real world, there’s nothing apples & oranges about consistent penetration and expansion of new generation 9mm projectiles traveling in excess of 1100fps that create a sufficient wound channel large enough and deep enough to neutralize a threat.

        • Hey Ted, clearly you don’t know what your talking about. Your just another internet commando happy in your own little virtual world. Enjoy it.

        • Afraid not El Mac, 30+ yrs as a FA instructor for one of the largest agencies in the U.S., trigger time and training sessions you could only fantasize about, tens of thousands of rounds down range, and two real world incidents. Unlike your “FBI briefing” my firearms experiences actually happened, and unlike hard heads such as yourself, I can actually learn something new everyday, benefit from it, and hopefully pass it on.

        • Ted U., well if that is true, congrats, you’ve done well. But, I’ll put my creds up against yours any day of the week and twice on Sunday. At the very least, we will come out even. Now go carry your wonder 9 and be happy.

  23. 0311 Infantryman reserve from 94-99 here. I’d be happy to carry a G19 as a backup weapon. I carry a modified G23 / 19 as my EDC anyways with HST 124 + P which averages 1218 FPS from my LWD 4″ conversion barrel. Marine grunts don’t really give a shit about pistols, anyways. The Mk 318 Mod 0 is a pretty good CQB-300 meter round.

    The 1911 is still a great platform. I’d have one if I wasn’t currently focusing on gold / silver (plus copper and lead!) investments. The .45 round is pretty heavy for this prepper to carry and stock. I’ve only got 2k .45 ACP rounds and a lot more 9mm and .40.

    Hopefully the USMC didn’t blow a massive wad of cash coming to this decision. Marine grunts are supposed to kill and break shit, but PC is beeaking into our ranks, too.

    It’ll be immaterial if Hrod becomes POTUS. Our nation will be so f@cked that small arms logistics won’t matter.

      • Word. STI and others also make sweet double stack 2011s (1911s?) that are accurate, reliable, and hold a bunch of rounds. There’s .38 Super and 10mm, too.

        The G19 is still a great price / weight / reliability / accuracy package.

  24. Back in 2013 in Afghanistan we downloaded an ammo pallet that had a giant wood crate on it with 1 million rounds of federal 124 grain hydra shock 9mm ammo.For shooting crazy mulies.

  25. I get the 9mm argument but if you are going to go 9mm and glock why a 19? I know it is better than a 17 for concealment but it really is not that compact:

    And it is not just me or Col. TNP saying that. If I want a concealed firearm, I will go w/ something concealed. But for a field gun that gets holstered, I want those extra few rounds, extra sight radius, and a slightly longer barrel. There are several armies and navies that agree w/ me on this. I would just like to know the reasoning behind this – even though it is the DoD and reason is not what it is known for.

  26. The 9mm Glock for duty / service makes for good logistics. The ammo is widely available, cheap, and you can move a lot of it. A side arm is just that, a side arm, its for when your rifle has a catastrophic failure, its the backup so you aren’t defenseless on the battlefield. Then again, if your weapon is broken, the odds are good that someone else got shot, use their rifle! Its also good for room clearing if you happen to be the boot/FNG with the SAW or 240 ( officially ).

    9mm, The young, the old, men, women, 140lb midgets and 265lb targets can all use it. Logistics win wars, Logistics maximize what your dollar can get, how much you can send on a resupply. One size fits all sucks but there isn’t room for 2-3 different flavors because someone wants to be macho.

    I used to think that for the weight of the pistol and its ammo, I would be better off carrying another mag or three for my rifle. If my rifle breaks… I’m SoL, but with a pistol… I may be able to secure another rifle.

  27. Most Marines now days can’t handle the .45 recoil, good luck with that 9 boys, especially if you get a hopped up guy trying to kill you, if shooting FMJ’s, aim for the cranium boys, or use gold dots! knew a guy used a 9 on a spiced up, body wrapped VC, 3 solid hits into the chest, was running right at him, DRT when 6th round gave him a permanent headache! about 2ft of the muzzle!

  28. Neil Clapperton is not an expert in anything! A 45 does not give you a one shot manstopper. Neither does a 9mm. More spreading of lies by self-proclaimed experts.

    • This guy discredited himself when he directly related penetration in tissue to “air resistance,” in regards to handgun rounds. Ridiculous! At typical handgun shooting distances, air resistance has negligible effect on velocity for practical considerations.
      Penetration is related to bullet velocity, mass, sectional density, shape, and expansion characteristics. If we are considering only mil-spec ammo, the 9mm has a poor reputation in terms of wounding capability. This is why with non-expanding bullets, bigger is better; hence the development of the .45acp.

      The article neglects the factor of politics in many military purchasing decisions. Who makes the decision to go with what hardware is done by whom? And do you think “maybe” that person, or persons, is influenced by compensation(direct or indirect) by company reps? Then there is the factor of influence by our “allies.” Oh, we use this-or-that, so you should too. Know-nothing bureaucrat appointees who sit in high places usually make the final decisions on such matters, Not field commanders, much less actual soldiers.

  29. If a nominally 38 calibre bullet wasn’t good enough for our military over a hundred years ago why is it so wonderful now? You can play with the math all you want, but in the end one big hole in the center beats a bunch of little holes in the extremities.

      • Buckshot is useless when you miss center mass. Effective range with 00 is only 30 yards with the typical 18 1/2 inch shot gun while the average JarHead use to qualify with his 1911 at 50 yards. Sgt York USA nailed six German soldiers with his 1911 without a reload.

    • “one big hole in the center beats a bunch of little holes in the extremities.”

      No shit! and vise-versa. A 9mm striking center mass is better than a bunch of holes from .45 in the extremities. But I have the option to make a bunch more holes with my 9 that you don’t with your .45. Do we have to have this argument forever? Really?
      I am convinced of this:
      All handgun calibers suck. Magnum calibers suck less than ACP rounds.
      At handgun range, I’ll take a 12 gauge with 00 Buck over any handgun round, magnum included. Even a 20 gauge is twice as powerful as a .44 magnum.
      Handguns have only two advantages. Concealability and extremely tight quarters such as an underground tunnel or inside a vehicle.
      You want to argue accuracy? Funny, never heard what the MOA was on any hand gun. Minute of Man is all that matters.

  30. I own both the G19 and the G30s. They both weigh nearly the same, and even though I have fewer rounds I still choose the 30s for daily carry. yes it gets heavy, so does the 9mm, I still subscribe to one round per customer….nuff said. Might only have time to shoot once…make it count~!

  31. Have 1911 ’45, Star B in 9mm. Star is a scaled down 1911, a little easier to grip, and a 9mm is a 9mm is a 9mm. BUT, a 357 Coonan, now THAT;s an autoloader!

  32. I suspect part of the reason is that one hundred years ago chest rigs with steel AK mags were not as common as today.
    The 9MM penetrates better than a .45 in this type of scenario, IIRC in the original 1911 trials one finding was the .45 failed to penetrate German helmets at something like 70 yards, while the 9MM did.

  33. But, but, *sniff*, US GI .45 means marine issued 1911!! *sniff*

    That said, I can’t say I blame them, as I chose 9×19 for cost, and (because?) I’m not bankrolled by Uncle Sugar. A 5″ 1911 in .45 is on the wishlist.

  34. “We put our money behind the 9mm round fired by an extremely well-trained marksman carrying a Glock 19,” Mannweiler told Marine Corps Times.

    I wish these talking heads would just come right out and admit it’s about money more than any other mitigating factor instead of dancing around it with so many contrived excuses. The above comment all but acknowledges perceived issues with 9mm stopping power while simultaneously making the case that a marine should be able to make do with any round because he’s ‘an extremely well-trained marksman’.

    No, really– Analyze how that statement is constructed, let alone why you would even need to make it in the first place. He’s almost saying that yeah, we know the 9mm isn’t the best but in the hands of our operators it’s fine… Buuuuut they’re such elite operators that we could operate any round we chose. I can get behind more ammunition. I can get behind lighter ammunition requirements. But this excuse is right up there with modern advances in bullet technology that somehow only benefit the 9mm ala the FBI.

    It’s a cost justification. Nothing more. Just stop it already.

  35. I prefer the .45, particularly the 1911. It has style, is time tested, and has intimidation that a glock 9mm may not. Still, on the side of the glock, it does seem to have a look of cold efficiency, so…theirs that.

  36. Carried both for years. I prefer the Glock 19 as a work pistol any day. Sold my beautifully blued Colt 1911 and bought a Glock 19, a Glock 43, a Glock 30s, an AR-15 SBR and suppressed .300 Blackout SBR upper. I shot the Glock 19 better in tactical scenarios AND I used the money savings to buy more guns. My Colt 1911 was a better target competition pistol but nowhere near as good for tactical use.

  37. You’re all full of sh@t!! As a former Ranger with the 75th we ALWAYS carried out 1911’s over the BS 9mm. Why? Because we knew from prior ops that live fire exercises & being in the “mud & blood” when SHTF our training took over and that power dropped them like a sack of potatos WITHOUT concern of a minor variance.

    You don’t need more ammo. You need TRAINING which gives a cool head and target acquirement every time, TRUST your training!!

  38. It’s easy to infer that whatever your own personal caliber preference maybe the right caliber for our professionals to use and should, therefore, be the norm for the Marines, FBI, SWAT, and others. However, training, practice, accuracy, shot placement (head/neck), and rounds on the threat are the keys to stopping a deadly threat. Marine Special Ops, the FBI, and other similar groups undergo extensive and continuing training to perfect their shooting skills. Also, keep in mind, that the a pistol is not the their primary weapon — an M4 carbine or similar long gun is their primary weapon.

  39. You guys are all in the dark like the rest of the sheep in this country. Shot placement, stopping power, weight, capacity, have nothing to do with it. It always has to do with money now that the military isn’t important anymore. Just remember, sh_t always rolls downhill and we have the biggest turd in the world at the top of the pile. The Commandant in Chief.

  40. Remember, that as good as the SF can be, the new or less experienced are young and many are unfamiliar when they enter service. Expect more AD/NDs going to the 19. Just the cost of doing business I suppose.

  41. The 9mm glock would be fine for Military work vs law enforcement. The rules of engagement are very different.
    I have been in law enforcement for 25 years, 38 special, 9mm, and 45 acp. If a cop shoots a, assailant 6 times needed or not he or she is in a world of shit. A 45 acp confrontation generally ends in 1 or 2 shots. Big difference to a jury. I have never been in the military just to set the record straight. Now that I am retired I carry a colt lightweight commander in 45. BUT I also have 2 glocks and a cz-75 in 9mm. If I were in a military combat situation the extra firepower would be a real benefit I think. But the rules of engagement in the military has changed also. so what does this mean. I have to lean on the side of the 45 acp. But I’m a civilian now and that make the difference.

  42. I’m just a retired Army grunt that still is s weapons oriented person. The weight of the pistol argument favoring the Glock 19 is smoke and mirrors. There are a number of newer carriages for the .45 acp cartridge. My FNP in .45 is unloaded a featherweight. True the round is heavy but how often do you use it. In close quarters you need a round that will stop someone not go through them and give them the few extra seconds to kill you.
    Given the newer 9mm cartridges have great velocity and yes the military is talking different bullet types but better accuracy is a non issue as since shooting range is normally under 70 feet and more likely under 50 feet. You don’t have to be a gold medal shooter to hit at that range.

    I have several 1911s going back to my father in law’s that he took into Normandy. Several are also newer types such as the FNP, a Glock and my favorite of newer frames a Tanfogio steel frame with the extra rounds that is basically a much upgraded CZ75. With any of these I shoot well and as pistols have often been called a physiological aide for a soldier I feel self assured with any of them.

    Decisions in the military often come down from the staff pukes. That being said why not let the Few have their choice of sidearm. Many would be willing to hump it with the heavier weapon and as they are not used all that much the cost is a minor factor. The Quantico group produced thousands of of excellent enhanced 2911s and recently there was an order from Colt for a reported 30,000 more. I’ve shot one of these several times and the craftsmanship, accuracy and capibilities stun me. I’d love to have one. This strikes me as a sop to the women argument as it is stated that women can’t handle the .45. Not much has made sense with much in the new more sensitive and tolerant military and this just adds to the list.

  43. While I agree incapacitation is not a matter of blood loss, some research has stated a shock to the nervous system actually is responsible for a quick kill. A combination of speed and size of a projectiles is an undeniable factor. Having the best of both comes at a sacrifice to most shooter’s accuracy, expense and capacity.I favor the 10mm ideally. Normally carry +p 45 for cc. I believe the 9mm is more about economics than anything else.

    • While the 9mm will never be confused for a .45, it is certainly NOT about economics. The critical factor most people use when making a final pick for a CC weapon is the ability to shoot it accurately and comfortably. Any time I have taken a person to the range to acquaint them with handguns, I have taken 3 or 4 different makes/calibers. They always choose one over the other, and I have never been asked which is the lowest price, or which uses the cheapest ammo.

      If you are talking about military concerns regarding economics, of course it comes into play. The “very best (rifle/handgun) available” is almost never chosen for widespread use by normal troops. Many factors, including economics, influence that decision.

  44. Well, after the first large firefight that proves the 9mm hardball to be ineffective for the military we will reinvent the wheel and the FBI and SOCOM will return to the 45 or 40 or 10. However, with the universal use of rifles now, the pistol may be less a primary weapon although the FBI will be under gunned since they normally don’t carry a rifle in everyday activities. We’ll see what happens. Sounds more like a money problem to me.

    • What “large firefight” are you looking for? There have been thousands of shootouts/shootings involving the military, FBI, and some LEO, while using the 9mm. It is still agreed by those entities that it is the best choice when considering ALL pertinent aspects.

      FACT: 99.9% of all the people out there who are yelling about the superior killing power of the .40/10mm/.45 HAVE NEVER SHOT A PERSON WITH ANY HANDGUN!!! So, what are those people basing their arguments upon??? I have never shot anyone with a handgun, so I will go with the overwhelming empirical data currently in use that concludes that the 9mm is a favorable choice for self-defense when compared to all other logical calibers.

      The U.S. military, FBI, and many LEO have chosen the 9mm based on numerous facts, including FACTUAL metrics of thousand of shooting scenarios. I am NOT saying it is the most powerful among pertinent choices, but that does not mean it is inferior.

  45. I spent 34 years in the Army. Learned to shoot with a .45 and then went to a 9mm in the 90s. I like them both. That’s why some days I use my HK USP 9mm and other days my .45 cal. Glock 21. I used to have 1911s, but they can’t hold a candle to my smooth shooting Glock 21. My brother in law has a Glock 19 that I like to shoot, a lot!

  46. I love these passionate back-n-forths with folks who love the smell of cordite in the morning. I was in the nosebleeds enjoying the show and thought I would toss in a cow chip or two.

    Wound channel. A special ops team sent back a pallet of FMJ in exchange for hollow point for their ‘specific applications’. Problem solved. Had nothing to so with accuracy. It’s those peeps behind the primary. Same 5.56 cal, different terminal configuration. Ever see a lead flower twist through ballistic gellatin. It’s magic.

    As to 9 or .45: Would you rather be hit by Britney Spears or Mike Tyson? 9mm v. .45? Conversely, would you rather lob out there 9’s or .45’s. ? It’s only a pistol, so no, we can’t compare with the Five-O.

    Folks about m-o-n-e-y. And a little about with what the original poster mentioned. I say whatever the political aroma of the day, true warriors will make due. If they gotta us a rock, they will.

    Back in the bleachers.

  47. This decision was strictly made on the basis of cost of the pistol and ammo. Plus you can get 9mm anywhere in the world. Now that spec ops are being allowed to use modern hollow point ammunition and other modern rounds that meet or exceed the old .45 ball performance. Hope they at least get trigger jobs on them.

  48. I’ll carry the P227, 45 10+1 Rounds. Can’t see the need for 15 rounds of 9mm if you can actually shoot well. The 9mm was proven in Iraq to not take down drugged up Hadjis. This has happened time and time again over the last century. The 45 is the true manstopper.

  49. I was a small arms instructor during Desert Storm. All the MP’s had to be trained on their new 9mm before they could be deployed to control all of Sadams troops that gave up. All of the MP’s would rather have their 45’s because of their stopping power. Their reasoning was: if you hit anyone, any where with a 45 CAL they are going down. If you hit a big one with a 9mm in the arm, you are just going to piss him off. So, my thought would be the Glock 40 CAL would at least stop most anyone.

    • The Glock 23 is a .40 and a nice pistol. Because of the cost of ammo, I bought a 9mm, extended conversion barrel. Also, dumped the stock sights (which are not bad) in favor of TruGlo, which, in my opinion, are better than the overpriced Trijicon.

  50. Carry what you can hit with…..period..I know alot of small guys who carry 45’s no problem and alot of big guys who carry 9mm’s..if ya can hit a guy in the neck or eyeballevery time the 9mm is great and additional capacity is mass with the 45 is fine every I comfortable shooting the 9 and carrying for defense?..yes..I can I comfortable carrying the 45 for the same reasons… one reason….bullet’s like the difference between getting hit by a plastic baseball bat and an aluminium baseball say that the 9mm has as much knock down as a 45 is silly people..that being said they will both kill you..hell a 22 can kill ya and it doesn’t even have to be a fatal and oranges people..I carry a desert eagle 50ae and a backup glock 21 when I go play war plus my bcm 12 magazines and all my gear..I don’t bitch and don’t care..I want every advantage I can get..and I shoot them all well..who cares..just as long as you can shoot it well..what’s good for goose isn’t always good for the gander lmao..keep shooting keep buying ammo and training and be glad the guy next to you is armed..with 9 or 45,40,38,357,44 22,762,556…whatever they can shoot lol..get ready for dictator Obama or president Hillary and the Syrian Iranian Muslim Isis invasion

  51. Bullet selection is key.using non expanding military ball ammo in any caliber is is also the key to survival

  52. I can understand the FBI returning to the 9mm. Their search for a more powerful round was spurred after that shoot-out in Miami in the ’80’s. I think what they finally realized is it wasn’t the failure of the round in that shoot-out, it was simply poor marksmanship. The Marines I do not understand, unless they are now allowed to carry expanding bullets. If they are still limited to FMJ ball ammo, the 9mm will always make a little bitty hole, and the .45 a big hole.

  53. If 9 mm is universally used and easiest to acquire, and you find yourself in an extended firefight and low on ammo, why not take the ammo of the bad guys you have downed to continue. Just thinkin.

  54. When I asked my newly retired FBI pal how many times he’s been in a shoot out he laughed and said that in 35 years he never drew his handgun. A loud knock and “OPEN UP, IT’S THE FBI” brought them meekly to the door.

  55. I know i am about to piss off all the glocksuckers out there but glocks suck. I am glad i am not still on active duty as a Marine, i could do more damage with a stick or a rock than a glock. I had one damn near cost me my life trying to repo a car in houston. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Love 1911, but they should look at springfield xd 45. I trust my life with it, and after 2000 rounds with 1 jam, they should too

  56. Alright guys,
    I am a disabled Army vet and when I was doing civilian work, as a Community Police Officer in Tucson, AZ I know of a case where a person who was jacked up on PCP and when he was shot 16 TIMES with a 9mm Glock (standard police issue in those days). he kept coming but when someone showed up with a .45, it only took one. I carried a .Ruger P90 .45 since. UNFORTUNATELY, since I became disabled, I ended up losing everything to debt so now a gun is a NECESSITY I unfortunately cannot afford, wish I could especially now, but I have been fighting the VA for my compensation years now and still fightingly have Social pay bills.
    Sorry, I digress, in any case with all the new ammo technology out there, a 9mm could potentially be just as lethal and be affordable, at least to people not in my situation. I loved my Ruger and the.45 was not lost on me, but I would go with a Glock 9mm or .40 S&W cal if I could. The one thing I like about the Glock is that it can take and still fire under water! if anyone would like to carry on this or any other coversation or has any good advice about beating the VA, I am very open to it! By the way, my wife is a retired SFC US Army reserves (22 years) carried a .40 S&W cal and brand and loved it but has now decided to go 380, which come to find out is nothing more than a short version of a 9mm, and 2 LONG TIME good ATF agent friends of ours state that the ammo technology out there is the main point about ANY weapon and even the 380 can stop someone dead in thier tracks, pardon the pun not intended.

    Former SGT US Army (9 years),
    Marc H
    [email protected]

    • While I have no doubt the story you tell is for real, the conclusion it creates makes no sense. A guy is shot 16 times with a wimpy little 9mm, but when the mighty .45 shows up, it is one and done?

      In a close encounter with a non-vested civilian, a 9mm FMJ has enough power to penetrate to the heart or brain. Apparently, nobody firing was capable of hitting the heart or brain with any of the 16 body hits? If the person with the .45 failed to hit heart or brain, that, too, would have been a non-fatal wound, albeit, a larger one. If the person died shortly after being shot with the .45, and it was not a CNS hit, it was coincidental that he expired at that time.

      That is the problem with all these stories…when you do a post-mortem on the story, it seldom makes sense. Yet, to the casual reader, it becomes another urban legend. We hear these things all the time.

    • Marc,

      As far as “beating the VA” is concerned, I can make a few recommendations. 1. You need to have a very good sponsor/advocate in your corner, and I don’t mean someone who simply hands you the papers, and turns them in when they have been filled out. It must be someone who can guide you so you don’t make it tougher than it has to be, or shoot yourself in the foot by writing the wrong thing. 2. You need to be able to state your case clearly and intelligently, in writing, something even smart people are sometimes not capable of doing. If you don’t write well, get someone familiar with the process to help you out. It is not the VA’s job to try to figure out what an applicant is saying when what they are saying does not make sense.

      The last consideration is that you need to be very honest with yourself when answering this question: “Is my (difficulty/ailment) truly a result of my military service?”, and, “If I had not gone into the military, would I have this problem?” I know of two people who immediately to mind. One was in the military for two years, with an artillery MOS. He worked in a factory afterwards, for 26 years, at a time when nobody wore any kind of noise-suppression. He applied for a hearing disability, and was turned down. The other person was in the military for 10 years as 11B, but did not see combat. He was a stuntman and construction worker during the next 30 years. He had a bad back, and applied to the VA for disability, claiming that his 10 years of military combat training/readiness caused his back problem. He was turned down. While they both served honorably, it is doubtful that either of them had service-related disabilities which were the root cause of their issues. These are just examples, and do not apply to you. Please do not reply back with details about your situation, as I am not in a position to assist you.

      If you truly have an honest claim, make sure you are following Number 1 and 2, TO THE LETTER. Good luck to you, and a sincere thank you for your service.

  57. I’ve never been shot at or shot at anyone with a pistol, but I have been shot at by shotgun and rifle. I believe I was out of range of the shotgun and attribute a good hole to my safety against the rifle. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I had a very good friend who came face to face with a very unpleasant gentleman with a 9 mm Luger. Both my friend and the owner of the Luger fired at about the same time. The 9mm made a nice hole left of center mass below my friend’s ribcage and exited cleanly through his “Love Handle”. My friend’s .45 struck his opponent in the left shoulder and knocked him against the wall. Dwight kept going. The other gentleman was down for the count and became a guest of the US Army. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

  58. This is the same thing…. again m14 to m16 …..its not anything more than money…. In the real world FBI 40 is better n in the milatary 45 it has been there n proved for more years than any other

  59. I’m a little late to the comment party, but for some reason this article has been on my mind, so I’m commenting. The title justifies the switch. It’s the Marines spec ops that are dumping the .45. Not bubba who’s been carrying ‘ol faithful since around the time Christ was child. Not even average joe infantry grunt who carries a sidearm in addition to his normal pea shooter. Special Ops. Now if you’ve never been to a range or done any training with special ops guys, then you’ve never seen 3×5’s ripped to shreds at sometimes 30+ yards on dynamic ranges. I’ve only been around the Navy and Army operators, and I’m sure the Marine operators are the same…the can flat out shoot. If an operator has a sidearm, usually the name of the game is suppressed head shots. Hell, they could issue .22s and likely get the same results, well maybe not. But still the 9mm makes sense for these highly trained individuals who use superior accuracy and not a large round for knockdown power. It also gives them a lighter load out, higher capacity without sacrificing concealability. Most of these comments are about personal preferences, but true operators can use any tool they are given with the amount of training they do combined with their abilities, and they will put the enemy down every time the trigger is pulled.

    • Tony:

      Very well said. I believe you have captured all the pertinent issues and drawn a well thought out conclusion. Even though I prefer the 1911 .45 ACP, your argument negates personal preference and gets straight to the heart of the matter. In the special ops arena it’s not the firearm it’s the man/woman behind it that makes all the difference. Thanks, common sense trumps emotion every time.

    • Most spec ops people use a 22 caliber Auto or revolver for close in work. A 22 will do the damage that a 45, 9mm or a 40 will do. I served in the Marines, South East Asia was dropped off in a jungle air strip Feb or March of 72. Incase of a miss fire a revolver just pull the trigger and skip to the next round. Don’t have to clear a revolver like a Auto.


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